Top Ten Tuesday

10 Books I'm Reading This Spring (2019)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Happy first day of spring! If only that means that all the snow will disappear and all the flowers will bloom and the weather will be warmer now until next winter. But the weather is already calling for another bout of snow so we shall just have to read spring-related books to make the flowers come out.

I'm not much of a mood reader anymore but I'm still more likely to read a contemporary during the warmer months than I am to read a heavy fantasy. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is: Top 10 Books On My Spring To Be Read List:

Love Scene, Take Two by Alex Evansley: A romance between a young adult author and an actor that sounds super cute. I'm hoping for plenty of swoon worthy scenes!

Save the Date by Morgan Matson: I've heard that this one may not be as great as some of the other books from her but I'm still excited to see for myself. And spring is the perfect time to read about a wedding that doesn't go quite as planned.

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio (5/7/19): A romance while studying abroad by debut author and awesome booktuber Christine Riccio. Yes, please.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: I'm going to FINALLY finish this series. And I would be much more worried about that cliffhanger from the last book but there's a companion series following this one that chronicles Noah Shaw's journey so I know he survives that far, at least. Since I started this series back when it was released in 2011, it's about time!

Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard (5/7/19): I finished War Storm last year and as much as I enjoyed the series immensely, I've already made my peace about it being over. Until this book was announced. Considering I gave the last novella collection of the Red Queen series two stars, I have the lowest of expectations for this. But we shall see.

Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick: Finally! I'm working on finishing those series that I forgot about ages ago. Last month, I tackled Silence, the third book, which I pin as the worst book in the series. Now on to the last book in the series.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: I've gone this long without any spoilers but I intend to finally get to this book. And, if all things go well, I'll dive right into the sequel as well.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: This may come as a shock but I haven't read the Throne of Glass series yet. Until this spring, of course, when I hope to read the first three. I adore Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses series so I'm hoping for amazing things from these books!

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston (4/2/19): I am so excited that we are getting a companion novel to Geekerella!

Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry: McGarry is back with a lovely romance that has some fantastical elements! It sounds like the perfect spring and summer read.

What do you plan on reading this spring?

Top Ten Tuesday

10 Books that Need Sequels

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

I adore some amazing standalone novels. However, it's very rare to read a standalone and then not want more. Like, I know it was supposed to be a standalone but I wouldn't mind a sequel. And not only with standalones. The series may have ended but where's my closure? Or ten months from now, what are those characters doing?

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is: 10 Standalone Books I Wish Had a Sequel but I decided to switch things up and give you 10 Books that Need Sequels because the majority of books I read are books in a series and sometimes the series doesn't seem complete.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon: I just want more of Dimple and Rishi. Where are they now? We are getting a companion novel that follows Rishi's brother, There's Something About Sweetie (releases 5/14/19), so let's hope for some cute cameos!

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett: This one doesn't release until 4/2/19 but believe me, you will be wanting a sequel too when you're finished with the book. We Rule the Night was absolutely amazing. It's filled with complex relationships, fierce women, and such superb worldbuilding. I just want more of Bartlett's world!

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram: The last time I saw Darius, he was taking us on his first trip to Iran to visit his grandparents. The book was one of my favorite debuts last year. I wouldn't mind checking in on Darius again.

Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen: According to Goodreads, there hasn't been a sequel announced for this yet and no, no, there has to be. The story isn't over. I would read 10 more of these books, please.

Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman: I strictly remember writing my review with the assumption that there will be a third book because this tale of Blackbeard's origin story is not over. It doesn't feel completed. Plus, I need more of Teach and Anne!

Wires and Nerve: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer: I doubt we will get a sequel to this graphic novel. However, I adore the art in these books. It was also such a fun way to continue the Lunar Chronicles that I hope Meyer returns to this world again someday.

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly: Everyone could use more of the sleuthing couple, Jo and Eddie.

Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy: I haven't seen anyone else mention this book in a long time, if ever. Yet, we definitely need a sequel. What's happening to all those amazing characters since this book?

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: This book was almost utter perfection. I loved it! And of course, I want more. The ending for Cruel Beauty seemed a bit rushed and if there was a sequel, we would get to see what happened afterwards. It's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast like you've never seen before.

Love and Luck by Jenna Evans Welch: If there was anything I could read more of, it would be romances while traveling abroad. This is a companion novel to Love and Gelato. Something I adore from Welch is that she puts the romance on the back burner while giving us a mystery to solve or some walls to break down and develop. It's a unique approach to the contemporary romance genre and I would love to read several more companion novels of hers.

Which books do you think need a sequel?

book review

Feminist Fairytale | Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Friday, March 08, 2019

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: 9/5/17
Pages: 384
Source: purchased
Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale. At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone has never beat at all, in fact, but shed always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the kings heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that shell have to become a stepmother. Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queens image, at her fathers order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do and who to be to win back the only mother shes ever known or else defeat her once and for all. Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.
Mina will stop at nothing to remain queen. She is heartless, after all, and her inability to love helps her strive for what she wants. However, when Lynet, the young princess, discovers secrets that were better off hidden, Mina must confirm that Lynet will not take her crown. Or else. In this marvelous retelling of Snow White, Melissa Bashardoust gives us a feminist take on the classic fairytale.

mad the queen GIF

  • The fantastical atmosphere certainly sets the mood. The bite of winter at Whitespring is perfect to read about during the colder months. Whitespring creates an immersive landscape that follows along with the chilling plot. 
  • The writing is gorgeous; yet, it did get a little too flowery at times. Girls Made of Snow and Glass is prettily descriptive, a lovely piece of work. However, there were instances where I wanted a little bit more action and was sorely disappointed. As much as I adored getting to know the characters, the action buildup was slow and calculating. Readers will be able to tell that something is coming—something big. Bashardoust shrouds the journey in mystery, leaving us anticipating her next move. 
  • The magic elements of the story brings the retelling to life. The fantastical mirror was such an amazing tool. The possibilities of wielding snow and glass seemed endless and imaginative. Bashardoust takes the tale and puts a unique spin on it. 
  • The chapters move back and forth between Mina and Lynet’s perspective. However, in the beginning, Mina’s chapters take place 16 years before Lynet’s chapters. This adds depth to the moving timeline, the past comes together at the same time as the present. It was a bit confusing at first but the structure allows for more surprising reveals as each timeline happens simultaneously.
  • This book is filled with amazing women, no matter if they were made of snow or glass, they were all awesome. 
  • Lynet’s relationship with Mina is motherly which was such a surprise considering I anticipated an evil queen enacting her revenge. Bashardoust has Mina enact her deeds in other ways that are both clever and curious. 
  • All of the conflict could have been avoided if only Mina and Lynet had talked to each other. Girls Made of Snow and Glass takes this frustrating trope to the next level. Not only do we get communication difficulties galore but we get to see everyone's true colors this way which really opens readers’ eyes. 
  • Nicholas, Lynet’s father, has rather demanding and high expectations of his daughter. And as much as this is discussed in the beginning of the novel, it felt like such expectations could take a grave toll on such a child so young. This aspect of the novel held a lot of potential to be explored but doesn’t go beyond a certain point when the main plot interferes.
  • The tension between Nadia and Lynet builds to the highest point. It certainly is a fantastic slow burn romance! Though, the ending rushes their relationship—I would have enjoyed seeing their relationship develop further. Bashardoust rushes it, however, to make sure the end ties everything together. It’s a fairytale ending that is sure to put a smile on your face.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass is a wonderful, yet flowery, take on Snow White like you've never seen it before.

Tackling my TBR

Tackling my TBR: March 2019

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Tackling My TBR is a monthly post, where I share my reading plans for the upcoming month. My method, thus far, has been going through the oldest books on my TBR, sorting them via “added by” on Goodreads and reading them or unhauling them accordingly. Some of my oldest hauls have been quite small, ranging from 1 to 6 books. However, as I gradually get closer to the present, my hauls begin to get larger and larger, making it almost impossible to complete all of the books in the haul. With that, I’ve decided to switch to a new method—one that I hope won’t be as overwhelming as the last.

The concept of a TBR Jar is not a new one. I’ve seen it used in various ways throughout the community. My jar will be a little different. The goal is to read the older books on my to-read pile. Thus, instead of putting individual book titles on a small sheet of paper to place in the jar, I wrote a month and a year on each. Each month, I intend to pull three sheets of paper from my jar which will dictate which three books I will read. The dates on the paper correspond with the date I added books to my Goodreads account. Some months will have over 20 books to choose from, when others may only have 1. From Goodreads, I’ll choose the three books from the three different monthly hauls. And same with my previous method, if I cannot complete the book within the month, it will be unhauled.

In February, I tackled my January 2011 book haul, totaling in at 5 books. Sadly, I failed to read all the books. I finished 3 out of the 5 books but, since the other two are series I am in the middle of, I loathe to unhaul them just yet. I’m going to try to get to the remaining books (Bite Club by Rachel Caine and Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith) this month.

I did manage to read Graveminder by Melissa Marr which was a surprise since I was so hesitant because zombies but ended up wanting more by the end. During the contemporaryathon, I tackled Deadly Little Voices by Laurie Faria Stolarz, the fourth book in the Touch series, which as predicted, was phenomenal! Also, I completed the third book in the Hush Hush series with Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick. I’ve heard a lot of people call Silence the worst book in the series and as much as I want it not to be true, I have to agree with those people. Overall, it was a good TBR tackle since I finished some sequels and even an adult novel.

From the jar (which is my lovely owl jar pictured above), I picked October 2017, June 2016, and July 2012 book hauls. From there, I chose the following books:

Gilt by Katherine Longshore: I haven’t been in the mood to read a historical fiction book in a while so I’m a bit hesitant. I own the first three in the series but I may end up unhauling them.

Bite Club by Rachel Caine: I was happy to pick this book as I meant to read it last month but didn’t get to it, and didn’t want to unhaul it either. My hope is to finish this series by the end of the year. So far, I’m on track to do just that.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: With the announcement that we’re getting a TV show adaptation, I’ve been meaning to read this book sooner rather than later. I’ve already read the Six of Crows duology and I’m hoping the Grisha books will be just as good!


Buzzword-a-thon is hosted by booktubers: Kayla from BooksandLala and Chelsea from ChelseaDolling Reads. Here’s the announcement for the readathon. This readathon takes place between March 18th to the 24th. Participants have to read books with the keyword who, what, when, where, how, or why in the title. Here’s the books I hope to get to:

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin | The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue | The Girl Who Never Was by Skylar Dorset

This is How I'd Love You by Hazel Woods | Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens | The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

What are you planning on reading this month?

kickin' it

Kickin' It: February 2019 Wrap Up

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Kickin’ It is a feature at The Bucket List where I round-up the whole month in one post, bringing you reviews you may have missed, other awesome bookish things, and even what I’m currently obsessed with in other media besides books. February was a good month. I went into it with the lowest of expectations and finished the month with a surprise of how much I read. In total, I finished 14 books. One thing I wasn’t expecting was to take a break from blogging for the whole month. It’s been super busy around here and all the stress finally caught up with me. It’s better now and I hope to resume blogging this month. Here’s February’s recap:

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti (5 stars): My favorite book of the month goes to this heart wrenching novel. I was thinking about unhauling it without reading a couple of months ago. However, I am so glad I kept it to read during the contemporaryathon. Caletti put tears in my eyes to how gorgeous this story is.

That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger (2 stars): Keplinger used to be an auto-buy author for me. I used to reread The DUFF almost every year. Her latest books just haven’t been as strong as some of her previous. That’s Not What Happened does tackle some important questions but doesn’t start a discussion. It does villainize the Church with no redemption in sight. If you’re looking for an amazing book about a shooting, this isn’t the book (I recommend Hate List by Jennifer Brown or A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti).

Still Me by Jojo Moyes (4 stars): I thought the Me Before You series would have ended with After You but when I heard about the sequel, I was ecstatic because After You didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Still Me ended perfectly. The series was eye-opening, lovely, and swoonworthy.

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan (4 stars): I was expecting a sexy romance while the protagonist studies abroad. However, we got so much more than that! Also, Whelan is a screenwriter and this book is adapted from her screenplay that is currently in the works. 

Honor Bound by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre (4 stars): Science fiction is so far out of my comfort zone but for The Honors series, I gave it a shot. And Honor Among Thieves was remarkable and its sequel is no exception. It’s nonstop action with a fantastic new setting!

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok (3 stars): I picked this up a while ago and the contemporaryathon was the perfect time to finally read it. And I was enjoying it until the last 50 pages where it began to slope downhill for me. This coming of age story was a bit slow but reflects real-life tremendously well.

Hamlet: Screenplay, Introduction And Film Diary by Kenneth Branagh (4 stars): Kenneth Branagh is a genius among men. Most of this book is the transcript of Hamlet by Shakespeare since Branagh’s film uses the full story. Still, the film diary and Branagh’s introduction was enlightening. It certainly made me want to watch his film again.

Graveminder by Melissa Marr (3.5 stars): I was so hesitant to read this one because Goodreads claims it’s about zombies. And that’s partly true but the zombies are not in the sense you’re thinking. There’s no zombie apocalypse. It’s a rather short book and most of it is spent building this world where people can rise from the dead if their graves aren’t minded. By the time readers are brought up to speed, it’s basically the end of the novel and I felt like there should have been more.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (3 stars): After finishing the show, I wanted to compare the two immediately. As much as I prefer the TV show, Jackson’s story grips readers in with a creepy narrative that is sure to give you chills.

Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton (4 stars): I rarely read on my iPad anymore except when I have some e-arcs that need to get read. I found this one in my iPad library and was surprised I hadn’t read it yet. As much as I prefer Clayton’s Redhead series, this sequel was what I wanted it to be!

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick (3 stars): A lot of reviews say that this is the worst book of the whole series and as much as I wanted it not to be true, I agree with those reviews. This is the third book of the Hush Hush series. Readers have established who these characters are so when Fitzpatrick decides to wipe the Nora’s memory, we have to start over. After recapping what we already knew from the first and second novel, plot movement is at its minimum in this book. Let’s hope for a strong finale in the next book.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (3.5 stars): I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while. I’m glad I did because it was exhilarating and inspiring. It, also, made me realize that books about survival aren’t really my thing.

Deadly Little Voices by Laurie Faria Stolarz (5 stars): Laurie Faria Stolarz is one of my favorite authors of all time. I’m working my way through the Touch series. Deadly Little Voices is the fourth book out of five books in the series. Each Touch book has the same plot outline: creepy letters/files/etc. introduces new stalker that leads Camelia figuring the mystery out. It may be the same outline but I don’t mind—the outline works. I would read 10 more of these books.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (4 stars): This book was so swoony. It was adorable and I’m already drafting my letter to Silvera and Albertalli on how they should write a hundred more books together!

Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill (3/5/19): Evalina falls for Taichi, the son of Japanese immigrants. And in 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, anti-Japanese feelings erupt across America. When Taichi and his family are sent to an internment camp, the only sunshine he finds are the letters from Evalina. Can they keep their love alive in a hateful world? This one sounds like it will be powerful and gorgeous!

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith (3/5/19): I adore romances that take place abroad so when I first heard about this one, it immediately jumped on my TBR. Smith is the queen of unique romances so I’m excited to see how two strangers embark on an unforgettable journey together and fall for each other along the way.

Woman 99 by Greer Macallister (3/5/19): As much as thrillers tend to be hit or miss with me, this one looks like a hit. A young woman strives to save her sister from an insane asylum that risks her own sanity. 

I go through phases when I use Netflix everyday and devour every single show I possibly can and then times when I never open the app at all. February was a Netflix month as I binged both The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and The Haunting of Hill House. Sabrina was darker than imagined but I still enjoyed it. I wish we had gotten more of Salem though. Can’t wait to see what the second season will bring. Hill House was fantastic and it also gave me nightmares for almost a week after. The teaser just dropped for season two but I’m holding off from spoilers.

michiel huisman hautning GIF by NETFLIX

In movies, I only went to see one movie in theaters this month. Cold Pursuit, a remake of a popular Norwegian film, looked great when I first watched the trailer. The movie itself was slow and strange. It was a satire on every thriller ever which was gave some laugh-out loud moments but also some grim humor. At the library, I was able to rent Venom and Searching. Venom was good but felt like it was missing a few plot points. I was surprised to how much I liked Searching since the film is told entirely in digital media: Facebook posts, YouTube videos, vlogs, news articles, and more. Overall, it was a good media month!

How was your February? What books did you read? Did you watch any shows/movies?